April 29, 2022
Resource Spotlight: National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day
May 7th is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a U.S. Department of Health & Human Services agency, created this awareness day to highlight the importance of children’s mental health to their overall development and well-being. Childhood mental health issues have increased since 2010 and pediatric health experts warn that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these issues, creating a youth mental health crisis as detailed in the U.S. Surgeon General’s Protecting Youth Mental Health advisory issued in 2021. Also this past year, the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, and Children’s Hospital Association declared a national emergency in child and adolescent mental health advocating for governmental policy changes that support families with evidence-based interventions in healthcare, school, and community settings. Recognizing that changes are needed at every level, one of SAMHSA’s awareness day goals include supporting communities and organizations in efforts to educate the public on childhood mental health issues and offer resources for those in need.
The U.S. government’s website youth.GOV supports youth programs and includes information pages on a variety of topics pertaining to children and adolescents. Many of these subjects are mental health-focused and target specific groups such as children of incarcerated parents, noting issues commonly experienced by these unique groups and offering resources.
Read about UW’s Ecological Momentary Assessment Robot (EMAR) project, a social robot designed to interact with teens, assess their stress levels, and provide mental health support.
Latina and Latino Children's Mental Health (2011). This text examines the various factors that shape the social and behavioral development of Latinx youth and explores how their identity as ethnic minorities and sometimes immigrants may differ from the experience of African-American and European-American children.
Technology Overuse : A Step-by-Step Guide to Assessment and Treatment for Children, Adolescents, and Families (2020). In this instructional film, Dr. Melissa Westendorf discusses the relationship between technology overuse and psychological issues in children and teens and offers suggestions for treatment.
Journal article: Impact of Awareness and Concerns of Climate Change on Children's Mental Health: A Scoping Review Protocol (2020) JBI Evidence Synthesis.
Children and the Dark Side of Human Experience: Confronting Global Realities and Rethinking Child Development (2008). Dr. James Garbarino details stories of children in war zones and refugee camps and how the trauma of these experiences negatively effect both their physical and emotional development.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2022). National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/childrens-awareness-day